U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Thursday as investors focused on earnings reports, merger deals and economic data. Weekly jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since 1973, far more than economists forecast. The S&P 500 opened 2 points, or 0.1%, higher at 2,116.38. The Nasdaq Composite added 15 points, or 0.3%, to 5,186.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by 9 points, or 0.1%, to 17,840.
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